I went deer hunting for the first time when I was 14. Over the years I had been asked several times to go, but never had an interest. I always politely refused the invitations by saying something like…”I shot enough overseas, that was enough shooting for me”. Don’t really know why I never wanted to go, but that seemed to satisfy the person doing the invite.
About a year ago we had a new neighbor move in. Tony was retired from the Army being a veteran of wars in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan. He was a lifelong hunter and fisherman. He asked me to to go hunting with him. I knew my favorite answer to his question would not fly with him so. After thanking him, I told him I would think about it and I would let him know the following day. He had told me it would not cost anything, he had a rifle for me to use and that he would be in the blind with me and help me with anything.
We went to Mason to a hunt sponsored by some of the local ranchers. We had a great host, who took us to his ranch to hunt for the weekend. I left with two doe and my friend Tony did even better. I don’t know who had the biggest smile, me or Tony , as he was so happy that I had shot a deer after all of these years.
I had a great time. It took someone like Tony to "ask" me to go hunting. I owe him.
I left the fields of Vietnam the summer of 1969 and landed at The University of Texas at Austin later that summer.